We’re currently enjoying the makings of a fantastic postseason, so hearing anything relating to Barry Bonds is something of a downer, but here goes.
According to the Associated Press, Federal prosecutors on Friday submitted their list of witnesses they intend to call for Bonds’ long-delayed perjury hearing, scheduled to begin March 21 in San Francisco.
Nothing all that revelatory, as the the list of 25 witnesses doesn’t have any new names from the near-identical list prosecutors filed in February of 2009, a month before the trial was originally scheduled to begin. According to the report, the list includes Jason Giambi, Jason’s brother Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios, Marvin Bernard, Benito Santiago and Randy Velarde. Bonds’ former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, and former football player Larry Izzo are also expected to testify.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from the AP report — it was new to me, anyway — is that prosecutors intend to use a urine sample Bonds provided as part of MLB’s testing program in 2003, which they say proves that he tested positive for steroid use.
OK, with that painful update out of the way, let’s get back to talking playoff baseball.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.